EQ2 has nineteen races for players to choose from, and evil is the largest chunk of that, weighing in with seven races. The evil races of EQ2 are a diverse bunch, with reptiles, dark elves, fae folk, ogres and trolls. They also have the best range of starting locations, able to pick their hometown from three very different cities.
Here's the rundown of the Evil races.
Freeport is the primary evil city, with the most developed content and range of quests. Freeport has four quarters, racial slums for each race except Sarnaks and Arasai, and almost all of them have housing and quests. For the new player, if you take the ship instead of levelling up on the Outpost of the Overlord, you'll find quests levelling you up fairly well, and giving you a racial history lesson as well. If you instead let the evil newbie island wet your feet, You'll get a decent set of equipment and a fairly fun time levelling up to about sixth, along with three collection quests.
Either way you start, Freeport also has several adventuring zones inside it's walls, ranging in level from around fifth to the high teens. The city is fairly easy to navigate at the lower levels, using a teleport style system of dock bells to ferry you from the most frequently used zones.
Neriak was brought into the game for free, along with the Arasai race. Unlike it's sister city, it only has one zone, but there are still teleporters (actually called teleporters!) located in the four quarters of Neriak. Along with not having to zone, Neriak also has a centrally located crafting and banking area, and is popular with people who have long load times from Freeport's zones. If your race can start in Neriak, you'll jump into the game in a small nearby town called Hate's Envy. It's a small little town with a series of quests that will take you all the way to twentieth level, and into the Butcherblock mountains. The Arasai have to start here, but transferring to a different city (of the same alignment) is as easy as finding the ambassador for the city you want to join and doing a small quest.
Gorowyn is the newest city of the batch, and the most diabolical in it's design. A hollow volcano criss-crossed with elevators and gondolas to join different levels together, Gorowyn can be a challenge to a new players patience. On the other hand, it's very scenic, and like Neriak, can be a boon to players wanting to craft, since the crafting hall is centrally located and adjacent to the cities housing. Picking Gorowyn for your starting city will land you in the Timorous Deep, an area at war between the Aviak's and the Sarnak. The introduction quests are fun, and have an involving plot (like forcing you through a battlefield!) and the equipment rewards are great. Sarnaks have to start here, but becoming a Freeport citizen is as easy as finding the Freeport ambassador in the lowest level of Gorowyn.
Arasai were once normal Fae, twisted by the evil magic of the Queen of Neriak and forced painfully into the service of the dark elves. They share many traits, notably the ability to glide from any height and wind walking, bursts of speed that stack with other speed bonuses (except mounts). They also have Ultravision, a vision mode that makes everything high contrast purple. Arasai have to start in Neriak, but Freeport is only two zones away, so it's not too difficult to switch if your determined to do it, or just hate underground cities.
Arasai Racial Traditions
Dark Elves are hate worshipping versions of their surface cousins, and as such have a warped sense of beauty and no sense of fair play. They start out in Longshadow alley in Freeport which they share with nobody. Like High Elves, they have night vision, but not Infravision. Instead they have Ultravision, a purple colored high contrast night vision. Being vicious and cunning, Dark Elves get a small speed bonus while sneaking or invisible. They also have the Fae ability of slow fall, and can glide down from any height as long as the ability is toggled on. They can also choose to start in Neriak at Hate's Envy or Gorowyn at Timorous Deep.
Dark Elf Racial Traditions
Iksar are honor bound, evil lizard men. Back before the cataclysm they had a culture similar to ancient rome, in size and appearance, but now they're refugees like everyone else. Iksar have Reptilian Ancestry which lets them regenerate hitpoints faster then other races, Aqua vision that lets them see underwater without vision distortion, and Defensive Coloration, a stealth power that quickly drains your power bar. Iksar can start in Freeport or Neriak, but not Gorowyn, since the Sarnak, who founded Gorowyn, were once the Iksar's slaves.
Iksar Racial Traditons
Ogres were once big strong dumb brutes, but the conflict with the gods changed that. Now they are big strong smart brutes. As the war leaders of the forces of evil, they can grow 25% larger, but this has no in-game benefit other then looking huge! They also have Ultravision, the purple, high-contrast night vision. Their last racial benefit is 'Rock Thrower', a knowledge of good rocks to grab, resulting in a one second reduction in mining attempts. Ogres start in Freeport or Neriak, their choice.
Ogre Racial Traditions
Ratonga are rat men, and as such share the Dark Elves bonus to speed when invisible or sneaking. They have Sonic Vision, which is a high-contrast yellow night vision. The most fun of their starting racial abilities is 'Rob', an attempt to steal from a monster in combat with them usually resulting in a standard loot pick for that critter. Ratonga can start in Freeport or Neriak.
Ratonga Racial Traditons
Sarnaks are the newest race, sinuous, lanky reptiles that run like Tyrannosaurus Rexs. Like all EQ2 races, they look excellent, and are fun to play. They start with Aquavision, like the Iksar, and get a speed burst ability called 'Hunters Fury', letting them add 50% to their in and out of combat running speed for a brief period. They also start with a one second reduction to gathering times, useful for the crafting lizard in a hurry. They can only start in Gorowyn, but changing your hometown to Freeport is fairly easy and involves finding an npc in the cities lower level.
Sarnak Racial Traditons
Trolls are tall and fairly hideous swamp dwellers, with a bent towards cannibalism. Having grown up foraging in a swamp, trolls can scavenge (summon) drinkable water nearly at will. Their also tough, regenerating health out of combat much faster then other races. Lastly, trolls have Ultravision, the purple nightvision. Trolls start in Freeport and Neriak.
Troll Racial Traditions
That's all Evil has for now, so next stop, Neutrality!